Jennifer Anne Affleck (born Jennifer Anne Garner; April 17, 1972) better known as Jennifer Garner, is an American actress. Garner gained recognition on television for her performance as CIA agent Sydney Bristow in the thriller drama series Alias, which aired on ABC for five seasons from 2001 to 2006. While working on Alias, she gained minor roles in hit movies such as Pearl Harbor (2001) and Catch Me if You Can (2002). Since then, Garner has appeared in supporting as well as lead roles on the big screen in projects including Daredevil (2003), 13 Going on 30 (2004) and Juno (2007). She is married to actor and director Ben Affleck, with whom she has two daughters.
Garner is the second of three daughters born into a middle class family in Houston, Texas. Her mother, Patricia Ann (née English), was an English teacher from Oklahoma, and her father, Bill John Garner, worked as a chemical engineer at Union Carbide. When she was four years old, her father's job with Union Carbide relocated her family to Princeton, West Virginia, and then later to Charleston, West Virginia, where Garner resided until her college years. She has credited her older sister, Melissa Lynn Garner Wylie, who resides in Boston, Massachusetts, as a source of inspiration to her. Her younger sister is Susannah Kay Garner Carpenter.
Garner's conservative upbringing included going to church every Sunday, not wearing make-up or a bikini, and waiting at least until the age of 16 to be allowed to get her ears pierced, which, she later joked, made her family "just a step away from being Amish." She began taking ballet lessons at the age of three and continued to dance throughout her youth, but she did not envision herself becoming a classical ballerina. Garner attended George Washington High School in Charleston. In 1990, she enrolled at Ohio's Denison University, where she majored in drama and worked in numerous theatrical productions. She graduated from Denison, where she was initiated into the sorority Pi Beta Phi, in 1994.